VTC #13 - North Fork Blackfoot

Photo by Meg Killen

Project: North Fork Blackfoot (f.k.a. "Seeley Lake")

Landscape: Blackfoot-Clearwater Valley

Dates: September 20 - 23, 2018

Location: Seeley Lake Ranger District, Lolo National Forest
Project Work: Trail Maintenance
Camping: Frontcountry Car Camping
Project Difficulty: Strenuous
Volunteer Limit: 8
Volunteer Slots Available: PROJECT FULL
Registration Deadline: Monday September 17
Meeting Time: September 20 @ 6:00 PM
Meeting Place: North Fork Blackfoot Trailhead


National Public Lands Day 2018

Project Description

Our May trip to the North Fork of the Blackfoot was cancelled due to snow levels, so we're set to make up the project this weekend in late September. We'll be working on the Hobnail Tom Trail up the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. Primary work task will be retreading a section of trail that was damaged in last summer's wildfire. Once that work is done we'll clear downfall up the Lake Mountain Trail. Once we're at the top of Lake Mountain we'll be treated to a teriffic view of the Scapegoat and Blackfoot Valley.

Joining this project is a great way to help pitch in on a distrcit that was hit hard by forest fires in the summer of 2017. The Seeley Lake Ranger District is a crucial partner for the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project and your volunteer support goes a long ways toward building rapport.

This trip also coincides with National Public Lands Day, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Join us as we celebrate our public lands the best way possible - working hard and making a difference!

About the Area

Nearby Scapegoat Wilderness was designated in 1972 through a grassroots community effort and earned a place in history as the first citizen-initiated wilderness area in the nation. That same collaborative spirit is alive today in the Blackfoot Clearwater Partnership. For the last decade, timber, recreation, and conservation interests have worked together to hash out lasting solutions to public lands management in the Blackfoot-Clearwater valley. The resulting Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, which was recently introduced in Congress by Senator Tester, is the fruit of their labors. 

The BCSA would extend the Wilderness protection to an additional 80,000 acres, permanently protecting the North Fork of the Blackfoot, Monture Creek, Grizzly Basin, the wild Swan Front, and the West Fork of the Clearwater. These areas provide crucial habitat for grizzly bears, westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, and the largest herd of mountain goats in the vicinity of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The BCSA also increases the pace and scale of forest restoration, providing a boost to the local timber economy. Mountain bikers, hunters, snowmobiliers, and anglers all also stand to gain from the passing of the BCSA.

Click for more information on the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act

Meeting Time & Place

Thursday September 20 6:00 PM @ North Fork Blackfoot Trailhead
Directions from Seeley Lake, MT:

  • Head south on Highway 83
  • From the junction of Montana Highways 83 and 20 (also known as Clearwater Junction) travel east on Montana Highway 200 for 19.5 miles
  • Turn north on North Fork Blackfoot Road #5550 and follow the signs 10.5 miles on a gravel road to the trailhead

Camping Details

We'll be frontcountry car camping near the North Fork of Blackfoot Trailhead. This will be a primitive campsite but does have potable water available.

Food and Water

MWA will provide all meals and cooking equipment. However, please arrive Thursday evening having already eaten or prepared to make your own supper. Your first meal provided will be breakfast on Friday the 21st. Last meal provided will be lunch on Sunday the 23rd. Dinner is not provided on Sunday evening. Volunteers are expected to help with food preparation and clean up on a rotating basis, but your crew leader will handle primary kitchen responsibilities. 

More Information